I expected it to be a pretty good movie with cool stop-motion animation effects.
What I didn't expect was for it to be a GREAT movie with a GREAT storyline that I would enjoy so much (even DH thought it was such a great movie that he boldly predicted it would be nominated for and win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature!)
The new 3D stop-motion comedy thriller from animation company LAIKA, reteams the company with Focus Features after the groundbreaking Academy Award-nominated “Coraline.” “ParaNorman” is, following “Coraline,” the company’s second stop-motion animated feature to be made in 3D. In “ParaNorman,” a small town comes under siege by zombies. Who can it call? Only misunderstood local boy Norman (voiced by Kodi Smit-McPhee), who is able to speak with the dead. In addition to the zombies, he’ll have to take on ghosts, witches and, worst, of all, grown-ups, to save his town from a centuries-old curse. But this young ghoul whisperer may find his paranormal activities pushed to their otherworldly limits.
Norman's special ability to speak to the dead is evident from the beginning of the movie. Unfortunately, this talent gets him disapproving comments from his parents and sister, and it also gets him into trouble at school, as he often becomes the target of bullying (a prevalent theme throughout the movie)..
However, he finds a friend in Neil, a classmate who often finds himself the target of bullying as well.
Neil sticks by Norman not only through the bullying, but also through his crazy adventure of trying to stop a witch's ghost and zombies from taking over the town.
Norman's uncle, Mr. Prenderghast, tells him what needs to be done to stop the chaos, but Norman soon finds out there's more to the story of the witch and the zombies.
When Norman discovers who the witch really was, he eventually realizes what needs to be done to stop her from destroying everything, and the witch's spirit is finally able to rest in peace.
The stop-motion animation in ParaNorman is awesome, and I loved how there were many, many funny moments in ParaNorman. Kids will find themselves laughing a lot, but adults will find themselves laughing even more (there was a quite a bit of adult humor).
I also really loved the storyline in ParaNorman. It's about so much more than a boy who can see and talk to the dead who has to save his town. It's about why people do things when they fear something, about how hurting people who hurt you is never the answer, and about accepting people who are different.
A lot of my friends who heard about ParaNorman commented on how they think their kids would be too scared to watch this movie, and although I thought there were a few parts that may be really scary for little kids, overall the scary parts were more funny than scary, and my 5- and 3-year old did not get scared throughout the movie at all.
I was pleasantly surprised at how good ParaNorman was - awesome stop-motion animation, lots of humor, and a great storyline.
ParaNorman opens in 2D and 3D theaters everywhere today, August 17, 2012
Thank you to the sponsor for providing the tickets to the screening.
Gem is a Hawaii Mom Blogger who posts reviews and giveaways, and blogs about life in Hawaii as a mom of 3 boys, including one with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. She loves to travel, bake, and eat anything with chocolate.